The cultural norm in the United States is to view a hospital as the only place to give birth. Scientific research has pointed to a home birth with a certified midwife as having the same levels of safety as giving birth in a hospital if the mother has delivered vaginally before. Countries with low maternal mortality rates have higher levels of midwife care. This is especially true for pregnancies without complications. Considering deliveries by midwives can improve the quality of care.

Key Takeaways:

  • Americans spend more money on obstetric healthcare than any other country, but have only mediocre results to show for it.
  • Women with routine, low-risk pregnancies likely do not benefit — and may be harmed by — the many medical exams and interventions involved in giving birth in a hospital.
  • The best outcomes happen when midwives and doctors are able to work together using their different but complementary skills and resources.

“Countries that consistently demonstrate the best maternal and newborn outcomes have a large percentage of midwife-led maternity care for healthy women experiencing normal pregnancies, which constitutes the vast majority.”

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